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Acceleration Principle

Acceleration Principle

What Is the Acceleration Principle?

The acceleration principle is an economic concept that attracts an association between vacillations consumption and capital investment. It states that when demand for consumer goods increases, demand for equipment and different investments important to make these goods will develop even more. All in all, in the event that a populace's income increases and it, subsequently, starts to consume more, there will be a relating however amplified change in investment.

Under the acceleration principle, the reverse is likewise true, meaning a reduction in consumption spending will more often than not be matched by a larger relative lessening in investment spending as businesses freeze investment in the face of falling demand. The acceleration principle, likewise alluded to as the accelerator principle or the accelerator effect, consequently assists with making sense of how business cycles can proliferate from the consumer sector into the business sector.

Figuring out the Acceleration Principle

In the mid twentieth century, several [economists](/financial specialist) noticed that the rate of new investments moves in tandem with changes in consumer demand, yet with an exaggerated movement relative to the change in demand. In his 1923 book Studies in the Economics of Overhead Costs, John Maurice Clark named this the acceleration principle.

Companies often try to measure how much demand there is for their products or services. At the point when the economy is developing, customers are buying, and low interest rates make it less expensive to borrow, management groups routinely look to capitalize by inclining up production. This checks out, as companies need to improve their profits when they have a fruitful product

Assuming they notice that economic conditions are improving and consumption is developing at a sustainable rate, they will probably invest to increase their output. This might require investing in new capital goods, particularly in the event that they are now running close to full capacity, investing in additional production lines and capital investments to create more. Inability to do so could see them pass up a piece of possible future revenues and lose ground to quicker answering contenders.

As per the acceleration principle, capital investment increases at a slower rate than demand for a product since businesses won't increase capital expenditures (CapEx) in the face of a short-term increase in demand. All things being equal, companies extend output utilizing their existing or slack capacity first, and afterward add capacity provided that they accept the increase in demand will be sustainable into what's in store.

How the Acceleration Principle Works

In the event that an increase in consumer demand is quick and supported, more businesses will embrace new capital investment. That is on the grounds that investments to help output frequently require huge fixed outlays and set aside some margin to build.

Economies of scale determine that investments are generally more efficient and accompanied greater cost benefits when they are huge. As such, it is frequently technically or economically infeasible to extend capacity in small augmentations to meet short-term changes in consumer demand, and checks out monetarily to increase capacity substantially, as opposed to just by a smidgen.

The acceleration principle doesn't figure the rate of capital investment as a product of the overall level of consumption, however as a product of the rate of change in the level of consumption.

As a result of the frequently large fixed costs required to embrace new capital tasks, when businesses start to grow investment in the face of a supported increase in demand, the size of the new investment spending might need to be fundamentally larger than the noticed increase in demand. So an increase in consumer demand can lead to a proportionally larger increase in investment, when businesses choose to extend capacity.

Extending fixed capital investment in the face of a brief spike or falling demand could clearly be a costly misstep. When demand slows, businesses will quite often reduce or wipe out costly new investments in expanded capacity — and as a rule freeze investment completely on the off chance that they expect demand will fall. This means that even a small reduction in consumer spending, or just a slow down in its growth rate, can prompt a critical cut ready to get it done investment spending.

Special Considerations

The acceleration principle spreads booms and downturns in the economy and is a core part of the Keynesian macroeconomic theory of downturns.

A supported acceleration of demand can at last prompt a large increase in investment spending, triggering a period of fast economic expansion. In like manner, less demand can bring about a sharp cutback in investment and a decline in everyday business activity. Business expectations about the future path of consumer demand play a large job on the two sides.

These perceptions form part of the foundation of Keynes's theory of how an economy can experience a supported downturn. The acceleration effect can likewise cooperate with the investment multiplier effect to amplify both economic blasts and downturns in this theory.


  • The acceleration principle is the perception that investment spending will in general experience larger proportional swings in tandem with changes in consumer spending.
  • The acceleration principle happens on the grounds that businesses must be mindful to abstain from undertaking large, fixed-cost investments in response to short-term spikes in demand.
  • The acceleration principle assists with making sense of how business cycles can engender through the economy from the consumer sector to the business sector.